Propagating Phlox

Phlox is easy to grow and easy to propagate. This flowering perennial grows in zones 3 through 8 and produces flower clusters in red, blue, purple, and white shades. Phlox can be propagated by seed, cuttings, and division. Learning how to propagate phlox ensures you’ll have plenty of this flowering plant to decorate your landscape, fill containers, and share with friends.


Methods To Propagate Phlox

There are several ways to propagate phlox, so you have options depending on what will work best for you. Propagate phlox by seed, stem cuttings, or division. All of these methods are easy, but division is perhaps the easiest and quickest propagation method. Divide phlox plants by digging up and separating the root ball into new clumps.

Phlox cuttings should be several inches long and must have several leaves. Remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes. Phlox cuttings can be propagated in soil or water. Grow new phlox plants from seed by collecting seeds from existing plants.

What You Need To Propagate Phlox

A robust and healthy plant is the most important thing you’ll need to propagate phlox. Seeds can be collected when the faded flowers have developed into ripe seed heads. When propagating phlox via cuttings, you’ll need clean, sharp shears, a small container, and a moist, well-drained potting mix. Use a sharp spade to dig up and separate phlox plants propagated by division.

Best Time To Propagate Phlox

The best time to propagate phlox depends on the method. Seeds can be planted outdoors in the fall or spring. Phlox is an herbaceous perennial, and seeds planted in the fall will not germinate until spring. The seeds must experience cold temperatures before they can grow, so if you plan to plant phlox seeds in the spring, store them in the refrigerator for one month before planting.

Take cuttings from phlox in the spring before the plant starts to bloom. Phlox can be divided in the fall at the end of the growing season or early spring as new growth emerges.

Steps To Propagate Phlox

Step 1 - A large, robust phlox plant can be divided in early spring or fall.

Step 2 - Use a sharp spade to dig up the plant.

Step 3 - Separate the root ball into smaller plants using the shovel blade.

Step 4 - Transplant each new plant into a prepared container, bed, or border.

Step 5 - Use rich, moist, well-drained soil.

Step 6 - Water newly divided plants until the root ball is wet.

Step 7 - Fertilize newly divided plants to encourage new growth.

Caring For Phlox Divisions

Recently divided phlox plants need excellent care to help them settle in and thrive. The new plants can be planted directly in the ground or a container, depending on your preference. New phlox plants need at least 5 hours of daily direct sunlight. Phlox plants need one inch of water per week when planted in the ground. Container-grown phlox will need water when the top few inches of the soil are dry. Fertilize new phlox plants when they are planted and again in late summer.


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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 08-12-2023